High school course choices and more education news

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New report says students making course choices too young

Grade 8 students and their parents are picking their courses for high school right now, but a new People for Education report says grade 8 may be too early to make choices that can have long-lasting impacts.

The report uses a range of evidence from Ontario and abroad. It includes information about the success rate for students in applied courses, and points to international evidence that shows that dividing students in the early secondary grades may have a negative impact, particularly on students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

According to the report, the Ministry of Education’s Student Success Strategy has been effective in providing greater support to many students, but the province has continued to focus on “fixing” applied rather than re-evaluating the course completely.

Read the full report here.

Hear Annie Kidder discuss the report on the CBC here.
Read the editorial response from the Toronto Star here.

Ultimately, the decision about what pathway to follow is up to students and their parents. People for Education has a tip sheet that will help you and your child with these important decisions. Click here to download the tip sheet.

Some systems re-thinking streaming students

The Windsor Star reports that two boards in the Windsor area are "intrigued" by People for Education's report on course choices, and by a pilot project conducted by the Limestone District School Board.

The pilot project, conducted in a small school north of Kingston, found that after starting the entire grade 9 math class in academic for one semester, the one-third of the class who had intended to take applied math opted to remain in the academic stream for the second semester. The Windsor Star article notes school boards and Ministry officials are watching the pilot with interest.

There are also successful international examples of de-streaming.

A decade ago, Poland made changes to its policy about dividing students early, and this year’s results from the OECD’s PISA tests show the country has made impressive gains—in both achievement and equity. The OECD cites the elimination of early streaming as one of the contributing factors to the country's gains.

Read about the Limestone and Poland efforts here.

Fraser Institute's school rankings don't add up

The Fraser Institute has released it's annual rankings of Ontario elementary and secondary schools.

We all want straightforward information about what's working in our schools and what needs improvement. The Fraser Institute rankings don't give us those answers.

The Fraser Institute rankings are a good way of finding out about the likelihood of a school having gifted students, and the likelihood that the school has a higher than average proportion of university-educated parents. The rankings are not a very good way of knowing about the actual quality of the education in the school.

To read our analysis of the rankings, click here.

So how should we judge the quality of our schools?

People for Education is embarking on a five-year project, Measuring What Matters, to broaden the Canadian definition of school success by expanding the indicators used to measure progress. Join the conversation and help make sure that the measures we choose are the right ones.

To learn more about Measuring What Matters, click here.
To receive regular updates on the project, click here.

Does citizenship count in our schools?

Join us on Wednesday, March 19 at 7 p.m., for the second instalment of the Measuring What Matters Webinar series. Dr. Alan M. Sears, a professor of social studies and citizenship education at the University of New Brunswick, will lead the discussion about measuring citizenship. What do we mean by citizenship? How is it being measured, in Canada and internationally? What do you think is evidence that schools are promoting and supporting students’ citizenship?

Click here to register for free.

 

Donate now and take advantage of a special tax incentive from the Government of Canada

It's now even easier to support People for Education with the First-time Donor's Super Credit. The super credit encourages donations by adding 25 percent to existing federal and provincial tax credits on the full amount of all donations up to a maximum of $1000.

Make a $1000 donation to People for Education today with an after-tax cost of $256! If you are a first time donor, or if you have not claimed a donation credit since 2007, see if you qualify on the Canada Revenue Agency's website.

Support People for Education and give today so we can continue to ensure that our publicly funded education system gives all students their best chance for success. Donate now.

Buy your tickets now for the Telling Tales Out of School 2014 Gala!

Get tickets now for People for Education's annual gala benefit, Telling Tales Out of School. Spend a night hob-nobbing with political, community and business leaders, authors, actors and musicians, not to mention Toronto's best-dressed education aficionados!

Join us on Sunday, May 25 at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, for a fantastic evening hosted by Sean Cullen. Back by popular demand, Caroline Rhea will be reprising her role as our auctioneer and comedian. Juno-nominated band The Darcys will be our musical guests, and they will be joined by many more performers to be announced!

It will be an unforgettable evening, and every dollar raised will go to help People for Education do our work to strengthen public education in Ontario. Buy tickets today.

 
EVENTS FIND MORE EVENTS

March 6 – Canada Wide

The Great Big Crunch is a day of good food education ending with a synchronized bite into a crunchy fruit or vegetable at 2:30 pm. Schools across Canada will be participating.

Read more.
 

March 15 â€“ Ontario Wide

You can nominate someone for the Newcomer Champion Award. Sponsored by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Read more.

April 3 & 4 – Toronto

Join the Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health at the third annual Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health Summit. This year's focus will be on Whole Community Approaches.

Read more.

April 7 to 11 – Canada Wide

Get active at work during Sneak it in Week. ParticipACTION is challenging Canadians to sneak more physical activity into their workday.

Read more.

March 21 – Oakville

Join the Learning Disabilities Association of Halton at their third annual Solutions for Learning Conference, with Dr. Barbara Miller and Angie DiMarco

Read more.

March 31 – Ontario Wide

Nominate your favourite teacher for an OTIP Teaching Award. Sponsored by The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF).

Read More.

April 8 – Toronto

Join the Toronto Catholic Parent Involvement Committee for their annual conference. The theme is ”Parents Engaged in 21st Century Education”.

Read more.

April 9 & 10 – London

The 2014 Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition conference is going national, partnering with PHE Canada. The theme is “Coming Together: Supporting the Whole Child”.

Read more.

 

People for Education

People for Education 728A St. Clair Ave. West 2nd Floor Toronto, Ontario M6C 1B3 Canada
info@peopleforeducation.ca
http://www.peopleforeducation.ca/

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